So the first major challenge of the year is complete – 108 miles on the bike raising funds for The Dougie Mac.
Challenge is the word, 7 hours in the saddle, 8 hours & 15 mins total including breaks – well 4 blokes around the age of 40 drinking a lot – a number of gates were watered.
It was a cold start at 6.30 am as we set off, heading out towards Woore via The Swan With Two Necks, numb fingers and cold feet in May. But as the sun got above the hedgerows, we were making good time. Whitchurch came and went and the flew down to Ellsemere. A short break by the lake and we were off again. The first steep climb of the day came at Chirk before the long descent into Llangollen. Now lets just say that the chap in front gave an interesting view for this section with his see-through shorts!!!
A well earned rest, some food and drink in the car park at Llangollen and we were off again ready for the climb out of the valley to Ruabon, another gate stop was required due to the Llangolen toilets being full of old people and the 30 pence charge – spend a penny!!! At this point Rich decided to take a picture, so red rag to a bull for me!!! Lets just say I hope he deleted that one!!!
This is where it started to get tough for me, and the lack of long miles in the legs started to show, but £700 sponsorship keeps you going.
Just outside Malpas, at 70 odd miles I was struggling, pale and glazed according to Gary – so the sight of the COOP, the thought of Coke and a Mars bar – the reality of a Coke and a Mars bar – sugar levels back up and we were off again.
The end was now in sight, Nantwich came and went and the cut through to the Crown pub was full of the thoughts of Keele bank…. water, banana and we were ready, lets reconvene at the top was the cry, do it in your own time, lets smash it!! Now I am pleased to say I have done the bank slower, but it has never hurt so much. The feeling at the top was one of elation, the last big challenge of the day complete, easy roll back to the Mitch and we had done it – we are Centurions!
Now what better way to finish that have the kids shouting, clapping and ringing the bells as we crossed the line – fantastic, for that split second we were on the Champs-Élysées, we were Wiggo leading out Cav, we were Team Sky crossing the line, but this was the Mitch – our Champs-Élysées!!!
So next year boys?